Did you know that three quarters of our crops need insect pollinators to grow? That's the fruit and veg we have eaten for centuries, but the beans that produce our coffee and (more importantly in our opinion) chocolate also need pollinators.
As insects collect pollen from plant to plant, they transfer it amongst flowers, fertilising them for the season's growth of fruit and seeds. They have been busy at this pollinating business for millions of years as it is their way of life. They are attracted to the sweet aroma of nectar to give them energy, but collecting pollen doesn't just benefit our crops, it provides necessary proteins for them too.
Not only do we have a duty to continue to provide suitable environments for pollinators to thrive in, but it's in our best interest. Too often our urban areas are devoid of wildflowers or contaminated with insecticides that our pollinating workers are having to travel further to find food and shelter, which puts a great strain on their healthy populations. If we all plant a small patch with suitable native flowers that appeal to pollinators, then it would provide a network of pit-stops to refuel at in order to reach more luscious habitats. B-lines is a campaign by invertebrate conservation charity Buglife which encourages plots for pollinators across urban areas for this reason, find out more here.
Our garden can be host to lots of beneficial insects who are just as helpful, but in the pest control department. For example, ladybirds and lacewings feed on aphids so can help reduce your gardening efforts on your most precious blooms.
Planting for butterflies
Our range of wildlife-friendly plants are widely suitable for insects, including the most appealing buddleja butterfly bushes, whose masses of blooms are a magnet for these beautiful creatures. Ideally you should have plants suitable for adult butterflies to feed on and also those which act a food sources for their caterpillars. We’ve put together some information on what to look for here.
Help your garden spring to life with an environment for beneficial insects and it will benefit other wildlife too.
Bee Perfect Roses
Bees are great for the garden and whilst a colony of honey bees is best kept at safe distance, solitary bees are generally harmless. Bumblebees are a pleasure to watch as they move at a slower pace and you can really see the pollen collected on their legs. The best plants for pollinators are those with open centres of single petals making it easy to extract pollen and nectar. Have a look at our perennial range, including versatile lavender which is a real winner. We have a special collection of compact Bee Perfect Roses too, ideal for use in borders, containers and window boxes.
Providing and insect habitat is a great idea and also allows you to see what really goes on in their tiny world. If you prefer one of the various styles of pre-made insect houses or bee hotels then look no further than our range of modern and natural designs. Or recycle natural materials from your garden into a bug mansion.